If you go to YouTube and type in "Miami CB Artie Burns", the first thing which will be displayed on your screen is a long list of highlight films. Highlight films are great, but they can also be misleading. When a player, or team, puts together the best plays of a college player's career, there is no doubt it will be impressive. But what about all those plays which don't make the highlight reel? You know, the bad angles on the ball, the missed tackles and the poor positioning which caused a penalty or a touchdown? Yeah, those get lost on the cutting room floor.
After some searching, I was able to access two games of Artie Burns -- again, not a huge sample size -- where you get to see Burns the player, not just Burns the highlight film.
People have been extremely critical of Burns and his technique. He was labeled as "raw," and rightfully deserves the majority of that criticism, but there are also aspects of his game which deserve praise - areas outside of speed, athleticism and tenacity.
Take some time to watch the film sessions below. They certainly aren't highlight films, but in case you are wondering what to watch for in the videos, here is a short list of things to keep an eye on:
- Body positioning both pre-snap, and post-snap
- Footwork in and out of the back-pedal
- Angles to the football
- Tackling technique
- Special Teams ability
- Ball Skills
- Breaking Speed on the ball/ball carrier
- Hand usage while in coverage
University of Miami vs. Nebraska (2015)
University of Miami vs. Pitt (2015)
The tape doesn't lie. There are several plays on both of these films which show glaring deficiencies in Burns' game. He can be a bit "handsy" with receivers down the field, which will certainly draw the attention of NFL officials early and often. His aggressiveness can sometimes be a detriment to his game as he can over run the ball carrier and miss open-field tackles.
However, Burns' speed and athleticism is evident when watching the film. His breaking speed is tremendous, and although not perfect, his footwork does show signs of improvement.
Burns has the physical tools to be a tremendous player, but how he handles coaching and adapts to the NFL style of play will ultimately decide how much he plays in 2016, and his effectiveness in the league for years to come.